Houston (0-0) at Kansas City (0-0)
When: Thursday, October 8th, 2015
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Time: 7:35 ET
TV: FOX Sports 1 Radio: XM 89
The Houston Astros magical ride continues as they face the Kansas City Royals in the American League Division Series on Thursday night. Houston defeated the New York Yankees on Tuesday behind ace Dallas Keuchel 3-0. Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez homered to back Keuchel and the bullpen. The young Astros team seemed unfazed in the Yankee Stadium spotlight, will now face a raucous crowed in Kansas City. Collin McHugh will start for Houston. He finished the season strong winning six straight decisions. Overall, he was 19-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 203 innings. McHugh is 7-4 with a 4.05 ERA on the road this year and was hit pretty hard in two of last three road starts in the regular season. He only has one career start against the Royals and that came last year when he shut them out for 7 innings.
The Royals look to defend their American League Championship from last year. They were picked to win the American League Central and did just that with ease. The Royals finished 95-67 this year, 12 games better than the Twins. They also didn’t just sleep-walk toward the end of the season like the Blue Jays did. Kansas City won their last 5 games – all on the road. There was some concern when closer Greg Holland was lost for the season, but Wade Davis has stepped up big time closing 17 of his 18 opportunities. Yordano Ventura will get the Game 1 start over the struggling Jonny Cueto. Ventura finished the season strong allowing just 4 runs over his last 20 innings. Overall, he was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA. He pitched 25 innings in last year’s postseason going 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 4 starts and a relief appearance. He won his only start against Houston this year back on July 26th.
The Astros were 4-2 against the Royals this year, but lost the last two. Houston is coming in with enough momentum to steal this game 1. The Royals are 51-30 at home while the Astros are 34-48 away. This Royals team can hit and is used to the big stage, but I think the line is too high in this one. Houston will split these two in Kansas City, I believe this will be the one they win.
Pick: Astros +127